I have almost 0 programming experience and exactly 0 art and networking experience and don't plan on learning anything other then the overall general basics I need to know to design a game within a budget I can spend. I know I know everyone has a idea and you will never beable to do this blah blah blah. I don't care. I believe strong enough in my ideas on game mechanics and revenue generation to spend the next year or two trying. So the main questions for right now before I even begin making a game design document are...
What do I need to learn before it even makes sense to make a game design document and where can I learn it? Keep in mind the budget for the game is not going to be known until after the document is done as I plan on using that to put the people and resources together to try to make this happen. I'm hoping based on nothing really that 250k is a bare minimium to make something close to what I want in terms of gameplay. If I just wanted to make a nintendo nes graphics level game with more advanced gameplay and mechanics and beable to handle 500 concurrent users in a persistant world do you think that would be enough money? Assuming I'm paying a normal wage for all or most work (could probably get some cheap or free art at this level of graphics)? If not how much would be needed and how much of that is paid labor for programming, art, networking vs licensing and hardware etc costs? How much do costs go up as the graphics improve? Think the exact same game but NES level to GTA 2 level graphics? What would the extra cost be in $ or multiples of the original art budget?
What is the cost breakdown of making a MMO? The massive multiplayer aspect is the most important part of this idea (other then my original ideas i'm not going to share). How much of the cost does this aspect account for in terms of both extra programming and servers and bandwidth needed? If I have a game that can handle 1000 concurrent users is that going to be significantly more costly then the same game that could handle only 100 users? Does the size of the ingame world drastically effect the amount of servers or size of servers needed? Does the maximum number of players that can be in a certain area at the same time or in the same "instance" of the game affect cost alot? Would having gameplay that "instances" off small teams of players in certain areas be more cost effective?
Are there any patents that I'm going to have to be careful of violating or that basically every MMO has to pay a fee for using? If so what is going to be the cost of licensing the basic patents to make a MMO?
I realize some of these questions are mostly unanswerable without knowing exactly what the game design is but I'm just looking for very rough estimates atm to determine what to plan for in the game design and business plan. Any examples of other sub $10 million MMO's and their production costs and features would be useful. Any questions you can answer or new questions you think I should ask myself or helpful links you can provide would be appreciated. I have no illusions of making a AAA graphic game and realize that getting any game done with little to no money out of pocket and 0 experience in the industry is completely unheard of so no need to make a negative post telling me that. Thanks